Wounds take a long time to heal here

Wounds take a long time to heal here.  A scratch on the skin of my strong and healthy children used to heal within a day or two in the United States.  Here, it’s at least a week, sometimes more.  Perhaps it’s the air quality as thousands of cars, motos and tuk-tuks pump unregulated toxins into the air around us.  Perhaps it’s the food, covered in chemicals.  Perhaps it’s just stress from moving across the globe to a new country, culture and school. 

The term “skin in the game” comes from the world of finance and refers to having put oneself at risk by being actively involved in trying to achieve something.  As I’ve watched my girls’ scrapes and scratches heal slowly and heard from my colleagues at MCC Cambodia that there are a lot of skin issues in Cambodia, it seems poetic to me that we are here, physically present, taking risks to our literal skin, in order to try and achieve relationships which will help to heal Cambodia. 

Theologian Henri Nouwen writes in “The Wounded Healer” about people who want to be part of healing others.  He shares ordinary stories of how being open and vulnerable about our own wounds allows us to be part of the healing journey for others.  There is no magic formula for healing a certain person, much less a group or people, or a nation, which has suffered trauma.  But what we can do is be present, listen, and respond with love in our daily situations. 

The healing of Cambodia is a long process and MCC and many others have been working at it a long time.  After all, wounds take a long time to heal here.  

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anya says:

    Sorry to hear about the girls skin issues. My dad used to get boils a lot when we lived in Indonesia. His uncle (a dermatologist) suggested using hydrogen peroxide to clean them. Maybe this could help too? It does sting but cleans well.

  2. Homer Wood says:

    I am impressed with your writing and overall knowledge. I trust that all the healing takes place quickly.

  3. Rose Graber says:

    In the tropics all over the world, skin issues are a fact of life. It is the humidity with the heat that bacteria loves. Wounds can quickly ulcerate and become a serious problem. Hydrogen peroxide is hard on the skin. I would recommend other cleansing agents as well as some antibiotic ointments. Take care. Loving you. Mom Graber

  4. Michael Derstine says:

    No wisdom for healing your unfortunate scraps and injuries, only deep appreciation for your continued, thoughtful and interesting updates. We are grateful for your excellent work and sacrifice, even though we often forget to say so: thanks and may God continue to bless and sustain your ministry and good work.

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